Jess got his driver’s license last week. You may be happy to know that Progressive can now hire a second spokesperson. With the rates I’m paying for a teenager on my policy, you should be seeing some very flashy commercials now.

In all honesty, I am pretty impressed with him! He learned to drive in a city of a few million people. He passed the written test the first time and the driving test the first time. He drives at night, on the freeway, on the highway between Phoenix and Kingman.

I took a lot of flack from other teen parents when they found out I was letting Jess get his learner’s permit. As I stood around a New Year’s Eve party with a bunch of “band parents” they went on and on about how they won’t let their kids start driving until they’re 18. It’s too dangerous.

The harsh reality is, I’m a single parent. None of them were. Due to economic strains, I had to move my family just outside the school boundaries about 3 years ago. I didn’t want to put my kids in a different school because I know how difficult that is, so I’ve been dropping them off and picking them up every day. My current job requires me to be in the office until 7pm. So, I would take my “lunch” break, pick them up, take them home, drive back to work every day.

With Jess driving, he can pick up his brother and get them both home. I can get my work day done in fewer hours. Plus, Jess can get himself to evening band rehearsal without me breaking my neck to be home in time to get him there.

OK. So that’s the selfish reason. The safety reason is this: Jess is a responsible young man, so he’s earned the privilege of driving. If I don’t let him drive until he’s 18, I won’t have much influence over his driving. Right now, he hears me say all the time, “You’re driving a lethal weapon.” He has also gotten talks about how most teenage driving accidents occur with friends in the car. I have to approve anyone he gives a ride to. He is afraid of the punishment that might befall him if he uses his cell phone while driving.

It also doesn’t hurt that I get to choose his vehicle: a 4-cylinder pickup truck with room for 1 passenger!! (The slightly newer version of my first vehicle :cD )

All this to say…I think I made a good decision in letting my son drive. He agrees. He’s LOVING his new-found freedom. I’m excited to see him gaining more independence. I pat him on the back frequently for being such a great kid. secretly, I pat myself too. :c)